sonatine_artsu (sonatine_artsu) wrote in artists_beware,

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Advice needed: Regarding Copyright on an Avatar Site

Hello everyone!

This is my very first time posting here so I'm really sorry if I do something wrong! And if something is confusing, I am sorry; English is not my first language but I am more than glad to go further into details if needed!

I have been doing commissions for a website called Subeta, in which artists can be hired to create clothing for the avatar. These clothing can be then submitted to the website, and, if approved, the users can dress their avatars up with it.
There are also recolors. If the, let's say, dress is red, after it's approved, the commissioner can request other colors of this dress if they wish.

Before you submit the item to the site, it's clearly stated that:

"Anything you submit, including items based on personal characters, becomes property of Agoge, Incorporated."

I recently wondered, however, what happens if I block a user. I filled a ticket to the Staff asking about it; and if they would be allowed to edit my artwork without my consent, considering I blocked them and they can no longer contact me nor ask for recolors.

They told me:

"Hi Sonatine,
This really depends on the exact terms of your commission with the user, and not whether or not they have blocked you or vice versa. If you drew the item for them and from that point on you consider the art completely theirs, they are welcome to submit recolors. If you have a TOS that states you retain the rights to the art, then they cannot distribute recolors done by other artists as they cannot edit the art. It depends on your terms from setting it up. That being said, the terms cannot be changed NOW just because they have been blocked."

It is true that I never really wrote in my TOS that the ownership of the art is mine, but looking through the copyright posts in this community, doesn't the art always belong to the artist if nothing is stated? Also, if they say anything you submit becomes property of Agoge, how will the art even belong to either the commissioner or the artist?

I am really confused by this right now, so any clarification, preferably with proof (like, a law or something, so I can posteriorly prove to Staff that even without the TOS I do own the art, unless I have sold my rights, which isn't the case) would help me a lot.

Thank you so much in advance everyone. :)
Tags: advice for artists, discussion

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